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markaseos 04-18-2009 09:12 AM

Blackberry vs Pocket PC
Today someone can also get emails and do everything that needs to be done with a pocket PC phone like htc or the latest phones like NOKIA etc. What are the benefits of the blackberry? Why someone would choose blackberry over an htc for example? What is your opinion?

JSanders 04-18-2009 09:29 AM

**moved to BlackBerry versus... section**

check out the threads here, you might discover something.

TotalTech 04-18-2009 11:23 AM

Wirelessly posted (VZW Storm, ATT Bold)

For me blackberry is stable and secure pocket pc was a very crash happy platform I was rebooting it daily if not multiple per day. I want my device to work.

I went from palm to pocketpc to blackberry. I doubt I'll ever go back

rasmith3530 04-18-2009 01:40 PM

This is a great question Markaseos, and one that I just had to field in my own life.

My first Palm-based PDA was a Palm III, and my last was the Tungsten E. I liked the color screen and updated interface. I didn't like that the battery was not a user replaceable item.

My first Windows PDA was an old Phillips unit running Windows CE 2. My last Windows PDA was a Dell X30. From there I went to "smartphones," my first being the Motorola Q, and the one I just moved from, an HTC PPC6800 (Titan 100).

My service is with US Cellular, a compnay that I have been happy to be associated with since 1997. I was not planning to leave them over phone selection. If I were moving, it would probably have been to T-Mobile for the Android-powered G1.

So, why did I move? Was I unhappy? No, I basically liked my 6800, especially after modifying it (custom Bootloader, Radio, and ROM) to get it up to Windows Mobile Pro 6.1 so that it would run the phone's GPS chip. The things that bothered me about my 6800 were, the slide-out keyboard, first and foremost. Funny thing, I'd originally gotten this phone because of the keyboard. What I found though was that there was no comfortable way to use it single-handed. It definitely wanted to be used with two hands. Yes, there is an onscreen keyboard, but that was designed for use with a stylus. You'd better have pretty tiny fingers, or be planning for a whole bunch of typos if you use the on-screen keyboard with your fingers. BTW, this is one of the main reasons I opted out of buying the just released US Cellular/HTC Touch Pro.

Although my ROM upgrade freed up both storage space and memory use on the device, it was still common for me to have to perform a reset about once a day. One should not have to do this just to get a phone to function properly. My old Q was no better, requiring at least one reset per day, especially if I used it with a Bluetooth headset.

Speaking of Bluetooth, I had problems with getting headsets to stay paired with my 6800. Sometimes I would have to remove the device from the phone's memory and install it from scratch again.

As a phone, the HTC was quite capable, and I would recommend it. It also did e-mail well, both POP/IMAP, and Exchange OTA ActiveSync. Of course it should do Exchange properly, being that WinMobile and Exchange Server are both products of Microsoft.

There is one thing that I miss with my HTC. I have an AT&T/Yahoo mail account. The web interface for this account lets you create folders for your mail. Windows Mobile 6.1 would allow me to see these folders, and move mail into them; BlackBerry BIS does not.

So there you have the things I did or did not like about Windows Mobile. WinMo has been around, originally as Windows CE, since 1996, and I've been interacting with it since about 1997-98. It has gained a number of features, and has steadily improved since then. That said, for me, it just plain became boring. I wanted something different, and the Touch Pro that was about to be launched (now is) was not that different.

As I said, I have no interest in changing carriers. My service works exceptionally well, and in my experience (10+ years), US Cellular's customer service is second to none. Of course, this left out any possible moves to either the Apple platform (you could not pay me to be an Apple fanboy BTW) or Android. That pretty much left BlackBerry.

The BlackBerry interface and devices have matured considerably, especially so in the past few years. They were good before, but now they are very good.

For my own use these days, I have no need for Exchange sync capabilities. I have my AT&T email account that I use, a GMAIL account that I use less frequently, and then a Hotmail/MSN Live account that I use barely at all. For these needs, a BlackBerry Curve, coupled with US Cellular's unlimited BIS data account seemed ideal.

There has been, and continues to be, a learning curve associated with the switch. Menus are different, locations where settings are found are different (and not always intuitive), and then there are the differences between BIS and BES. My first major learning issue came because of the phone's GPS system.

Early on, I discovered that my GPS was barely functioning. Most times, it would not get a lock on any (or a sufficient amount of) satellites, and on those rare occasions when it would, it was nearly fifteen minutes between the time I'd asked BB Maps to pinpoint my location, and the time that it would find where I was. I went to the US Cellular store near me and was told by two reps that this was the way BlackBerry phones worked. I was blown away! I almost returned the phone. Well, luckily, I Googled my problem using different keywords, and when I did this, I stumbled upon a post at the CrackBerry forums. Reading the post, this looked familiar. In the end, it turned out to be neither a hardware issue or one of firmware, but merely a lack of proper software configuration. RIM had left settings without their proper configuration and so there was no server assistance happening. This is not an uncommon thing, and it is not just a problem with US Cellular BlackBerry's. If your BlackBerry is not acquiring GPS satellites Johnny-on-the-spot, then you probably have the same problem!

Now, with everything working as it should, I am quite happy with this phone. I like that I can use it primarily one-handed. I like the feel of the phone. I love the call quality. RIM has improved a great deal in this area. I really like the way the Curve threads SMS conversations. BlackBerry does a much better job with this than Microsoft. I wish that I could see my folders on my AT&T/Yahoo mail account, but I can live without that.

There is only one intolerable thing about this phone... A free PDF reader!

markaseos 04-18-2009 03:12 PM

rasmith3530 thanks for your lengthy and detail answer. I can see your point, I used to have also a QTECK and now I moved to 8310. The only thing that I miss in QTECK was the calendar which was more fancy, with colors etc. I tried to use other calendars for the BB but they were heavy. QTECK was very sensitive though, I dropped it once and it broke !!! my 8310 is very resistant and very well build. Somehow my BB has everything I need and no more!!! easy to find and easy to handle. TotalTech I also had problems with WM - it was freezing all the time. The big advantage of WM I think is the variety of programs available everywhere. For example I had an excellent calculator with many fancy functions - I used to have the microsoft office, similar programs in BB use a lot of memory and I had to uninstall them. Thanks again.

rasmith3530 04-18-2009 03:17 PM

Yes, one of the places where Windows Mobile devices tend to shine is in the quantity and variety of 3rd party applications out there, but this should be expected with an OS that is basically 13 years old!

Drillbit 04-18-2009 08:48 PM

If you want to know my frank and honest opinion, of all the mobile OS smartphone platforms, Windows Mobile is the most troubled one.

General clunky end user experience
high battery consumption
not being touch friendly
too PC like
tendency to be sluggish and unresponsive
poor memory management means the occasional crash and reboot
nonexistent OS updates
and inability for most devices to do a major version upgrade.

I offered my daughter an HTC Touch Diamond as a reward for passing her realtor exams. The immediate impression with the word Windows is:

Poor Security

So off she went with a BB Storm instead.

The brand name "Windows" isn't proving to not to be an asset after all, but a liability.

My general impression with Windows devices are superior hardware struggling with inferior software. Most WM devices have faster processors and more memory than lets say Symbian devices, but guess who feels a lot smoother and more responsive. The catch with having all the hardware to make WM run properly---powerful CPUs, more DRAM, larger touch screens---is all that takes a toll in battery life.

The pluses for Windows Mobile is

Lots of software over the years with some nice ones like Opera 9.5 browser
Some very nice hardware, especially from HTC
A highly accessible file system
Well featured, like threaded messaging
The literal feeling of having a PC in your pocket
You don't need a special data rate plan to use it

I've been following Twitter and forums and when you have a situation when people are deciding between BB this and that vs. a Windows Mobile device, after some hands on, the BB device tends to win. The BB is not only more responsive, but generally has a better user experience due to a more logical UI arrangement, even though it does have a learning curve on its own.

But the allure of a Windows Mobile device is always there, because the total user experience also includes the hardware, and there are very sexy and powerful devices from HTC and Samsung.

Now against Nokia and Symbian devices, its a different matter, and a tougher choice. You got a lot of sexy hardware too, and the software, this time around is fast, responsive, easy to use, got great battery life, and well supported. Not only that, they're very multimedia friendly. Aside from Apple, Symbian devices are the only ones that support 16.7 million colors for example and now they can support sensitive capacitative screens. They got the camera business cornered with having more 5 and 8 megapixel cameras with lenses from Mr. Carl and Mr. Schneider, and so if you like taking pictures, there is no other choice. Many phones are unlocked, so you only need to change a SIM from one to anothe when traveling, and you don't need a special data plan. I would say, the Nokia E series pose the best competition right now to any Blackberry, especially the E71. The E series phones don't have the clunky brick Nokia N series tends to have; they're so thin and sleek they can make an iPhone look chubby.

The point for BB over Symbian is narrow and I'm more willing to say, a toss up. Generally with the newer OS, the BB offers a much more arresting visual experience from its UI and the trackball feels more precise over the Tracknav Nokia uses, which still quite responsive. On the Nokia side, the E series feels sleeker and thinner, and you only need a generic data rate.

I have my own special reasons. In many places, there are just way too many Nokias. When you got a BB, its like wow, what is that and you get stares from onlookers.

rasmith3530 04-18-2009 09:23 PM

Windows has always been hardware intensive, on the mobile device and on the desktop.

I'm cranking this out on a laptop equipped with a 2GHz dual core Intel CPU and 4 GB of RAM. At times it feels quite pokey, especially compared to my X40 Thinkpad, with a 1.5GHz Centrino and 1.25GB of RAM running Ubuntu Intrepid.

My HTC 6800 was a beautiful piece of hardware, limited by an antique OS.

The sad part is that Microsoft has another, much more up-to-date OS laying around. It is called Zune.

Drillbit 04-19-2009 03:19 AM

I just tried a Nokia 5800XM today. Grey and for NA market. Its the opposite. The operating system is just incredible. Its fast, responsive and yet well featured. There are things in there that would put Apple to shame. The hardware on the other hand felt cheap.

rasmith3530 04-19-2009 09:41 AM

Is that Nokia running on Symbian?

Drillbit 04-19-2009 12:12 PM

Yes it runs on a new version of Symbian S60 made to work on touch screens.

ericas8120 08-01-2009 04:38 PM

rasmith and drillbit:

Thanks for your replies. I am thinking of returning to the WM platform with my next hardware upgrade (hopefully I can get it early). In particular, I can't wait for the HTC Touch Pro 2 on T-Mobile.

I have actually had the opposite experience when I transitioned from WM to BB. Back in 2003 I bought the HP iPAQ 6315 on T-Mobile. It ran WM 2003 Phone Edition. I had 3 of them. The problem wasn't the software, battery life, etc. It was the actual hardware. One drop on concrete broke the SIM card holder which in turn meant I could no longer use it as a phone. It was still great for games, etc. I think I still have the third one in my garage somewhere.

I got tired of this after 2 replacements and went to the BlackBerry platform with the 7730 (That was the first BB I owned that had a screen and was a phone. I had a 950 prior to that and loved it. I still have the thing LOL). I have nothing against the BlackBerry but I wish I had stayed with WM. I do love the fast email delivery, applications, portability, ease of use, etc but the problems outweigh the positives.

12 devices later, I have had everything from a broken trackwheel and USB port to signal problems to complete device shutdowns and reboots. The hourglass is a constant battle even when I have 3 3rd party apps on the phone. I have lost count of the OS upgrades, reloads and battery pulls I have had to perform to make the devices work the way I want them to. Things got so bad from 2004 to now that it seems like I have been sending a BlackBerry back every 6 months to have it replaced. I have gone through 2 7730's, 3 7100t's, 2 7105t's, 3 8100's and 2 8120's (I had to replace my 14 month old 8120 this past Tuesday for a trackball issue that started last Sunday night. Got the replacement Thursday and it crashed and rebooted last night after making a call using a BlueTooth headset) since 2004. Not happy with RIM devices right now so the switch will be very welcomed.

I will be waiting to see if the new TP2 will be a device that will be able to stand up to the use I put my phones through. I will be waiting for reviews from anyone who manages to get one before I do.

rasmith3530 08-01-2009 08:10 PM

I wouldn't look to a TP2 to handle drops onto concrete like your old iPAQ. You'd probably be picking up a now two-piece phone. At least if it is anything like my old HTC PPC6800 (Mogul/Titan 100).

I tend to use my phone a lot, but at the same time baby it, so I don't have quite the record that you display. I lost one Motorola Q in a blizzard when it came out of the factory holster, and years ago, I lost an old Qualcomm phone when I left it on my table as I went to pay my bill in a restaurant. Every other phone has lasted, in decent shape, until I replaced them out of boredom.

The Windows Mobile Platform is decent enough, but after running it since Windows CE 2 (on an old Phillips PDA), I was thoroughly bored, and neither WinMo 6.1 (which I was running on my HTC through a cooked ROM) nor 6.5 were going to be that much different. That is how I ended up with my current Curve. Well, the QWERTY keypad had a bunch to do with it as well.

I have been extremely pleased with my BlackBerry so far. The interface just makes sense. I find that since I've gone to it I'm using the Internet more than I ever did on either my HTC or my Q.

Good luck whichever way you go!

ArgonNJ 08-02-2009 11:37 PM


Originally Posted by rasmith3530 (Post 1357511)
The sad part is that Microsoft has another, much more up-to-date OS laying around. It is called Zune.

And MS won't use it because of legacy issues. This has always been MS's problem. Afraid of upseting legacy users. So instead of just starting fresh, as Apple did with OSX, they continue to put layer upon layer on their older code until all they have is a bloated, buggy, sluggish product. Win Mobile, sorry, I mean Windows Phone 6.5, won't be any better then the previous version. The only reason it sells at all, is that it is offered on so many different devices.

rasmith3530 08-02-2009 11:59 PM

Although I have seen a couple screenshots, I haven't gotten to "play" with 6.5 yet, but I was running 6.1 via a modified ROM on my HTC 6800, and if you were to put that next to my old Phillips PDA running Win CE 2, you would immediately see the similarities.

BTW, I notice that you are running a 3Gs. What have they improved versus the latest update to the 3G? My friend and his wife are still plagued with really poor reception, and it can't be all AT&T's network, because my TracFone C139 runs an AT&T SIM (TracFone doesn't have their own network) and I don't have anywhere near the reception issues he deals with, and we live and travel within the same area.

ArgonNJ 08-03-2009 01:13 AM


Originally Posted by rasmith3530 (Post 1443648)
BTW, I notice that you are running a 3Gs. What have they improved versus the latest update to the 3G? My friend and his wife are still plagued with really poor reception, and it can't be all AT&T's network, because my TracFone C139 runs an AT&T SIM (TracFone doesn't have their own network) and I don't have anywhere near the reception issues he deals with, and we live and travel within the same area.

I had the first gen iphone, but I can tell you the signal strength is 100% better. Where as with my first gen I was getting fluctuating signal between 1 to 4 bars, I now get a better, more consistant 4 to 5 bars similar to what I got with my Bold. 3G Data is sometimes a problem when I'm in an area with lots of people and I have to switch to 2G to get solid data performance. I'm guessing this is the standard ATT 3G network issue. Overall a vast improvement over the first gen.

mgerbasio 08-07-2009 04:21 PM

I'm using a Fuze now and thought I'd give my two cents. I have a Tilt which I really don't use except for data and have had probably five blackberrys with the 7290 being the oldest.

AT&T sent me the Fuze because they're insisting the dropped calls I'm having in the NYC area are caused by faulty software on the Bold. The CSR is really trying to be helpful and what other choice did I have. It was "pick any other phone except the iphone" so I opted for 3G so it would be a comparison of the network. First day, three calls dropped to three different people; to be fair they were on cell phones and I'm not sure which end dropped.

I like WM but I'm still surprised how the hardware is lacking in many ways. The Fuze's voice quality both incoming and outgoing is barely passable and doesn't come close to the Bold. Incoming is low and tinny, outgoing gets a lot of background noise and "sounds like your voice is bouncing around in a pipe" comments. What good is a cell phone that sounds bad? I could never understand why voice isn't job one when a phone is being designed.

Holding the phone to my ear, more comfortable with the Bold, although I may be pressing harder with the Fuze because of low ear piece volume. Didn't try a headset yet. This is another HTC model is using the usb port for headsets, dumb design.

The screen on the Fuze is a big step up from the Tilt in that you can use it outside. I like the screen, very nice, but outside the Bold is better as it is much more readable in the sunlight. I like touch screens and find them easier to use, the Bold with a touch screen will be nice.

I've gotten use to the "one message inbox" and now miss it with the Fuze. I haven't tried seven or xpressmail for push email but so far, no problems on the Fuze getting and sending email. I have it polling every thirty minutes.

Typing on the sliding keypad is different, I'm not nearly as fast as on the Bold and no AutoText which is a minus. A negative on the Fuze is it doesn't have the BB's ability to recognize phone numbers, urls and email addresses pretty much anywhere and all you need to do is click. Especially with phone extension, I find it frustrating not to have it now.

Today screen and customization, the Fuze wins. I do miss the Web Signals and BBM applications on the BB. No native Google Talk or Google Voice applications on the Fuze but there are workarounds. The Opera browse on the Fuze is very fast and far better than anything I've use on the Bold. Google Maps, Bing, Newbreak (RSS) and most other software, I rather use the Fuze.

So, if I had my choice, I'd pick the Bold. Other than the browser, it does everything I need a phone to do and does it better. There isn't as much software and what there is may not be as pretty but it gets the job done.

Maybe WP 6.5 or 7 and the Touch Pro 2 will be worth another look. The Fuze isn't a bad phone, but it misses in key areas. I think MS would benefit the user experience if it made sure the voice quality and screen readability meet a level of quality before WM could be shipped with the hardware.

Regards-Michael G.

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